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In search of WILLPOWER—I am here to inquire: Is it a real power?
Posted: 05 August 2012 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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RevLGKing - 05 August 2012 03:30 PM

SELF-CONTROL—Is it, The Most Coveted Human Virtue?
With fond memories, I look back to—I think that was 1942—when I was 12. It was then that I first became aware that the time had come for me to stop being a child, but not to fear being childlike—teachable. I said to myself: From now on, YOU are responsible for becoming a fully mature adult, but always teachable.

That was long before I ever heard the word psychology and how important it is to our understand of the self—to what I now call the integrated-self (mind, spirit, soul) made up of body, mind and spirit (soma, psyche and pneuma).

As long as you keep talking about the soul this should stay in pseudoscience. There is absolutely no scientific evidence we have souls.

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Posted: 05 August 2012 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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DarronS - 05 August 2012 05:12 PM

As long as you keep talking about the soul this should stay in pseudoscience. There is absolutely no scientific evidence we have souls.

Did I say, “we HAVE souls”? If I did say that then I agree, that was wrong. And I add: neither did I say, nor do I say: We have minds, or spirits, or bodies.

Until we solve the semantics of this problem, perhaps all we can say at this point is: We are who we are.

What do atheists say about the “we” who we are? Do you say: We ARE bodies, period?

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Posted: 05 August 2012 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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Yes, you did say that. Go back to the top of this page and see your own quote.

to what I now call the integrated-self (mind, spirit, soul) made up of body, mind and spirit (soma, psyche and pneuma).

Spirit, soul, pneuma; doesn’t matter what you call it, if you have no evidence for your belief you are practicing pseudoscience or psychobabble: take your pick.

Atheism says nothing about who we are. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a supernatural deity. Ascribing beliefs about materialism or metaphysics to atheism shows you do not understand atheism.

As for my belief: consciousness is merely our brain processing external input. Neuroscience is making good progress on explaining this, but there is much left to research. Calling consciousness a soul or pneuma is a god-of-the-gaps argument. Yes, in my opinion, we are just meat. Sophisticated and intelligent meat, but still meat. Being an atheist makes it easier for me to accept this because I need no gods to explain the unknown, but atheism itself takes no position one way or the other.

[ Edited: 05 August 2012 06:11 PM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 05 August 2012 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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DarronS - 05 August 2012 06:06 PM says

Yes, you did say that. Go back to the top of this page and see your own quote.

I said

to what I now call the integrated-self (mind, spirit, soul) made up of body, mind and spirit (soma, psyche and pneuma).

Semantics again. I call who I AM “the integrated-self”.  I did not says that I HAVE a self. To me it is self-evident that I am a SELF, MIND, SPIRIT, SOUL ...
==================
Daniel C. Dennett, in his book, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, talks about what he means by spirituality:

“If you can approach the world’s complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the greater scheme of things.

Keeping that awestruck vision of the world ready to hand while dealing with the demands of daily living is no easy exercise, but it is definitely worth the effort, for if you can stay centered , and engaged , you will find the hard choices easier, the right words will come to you when you need them, and you will indeed be a better person.

That, I propose, is the secret to spirituality, and it has nothing at all to do with believing in an immortal soul.”
― Daniel C. Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

==================
You say

Spirit, soul, pneuma; doesn’t matter what you call it, if you have no evidence for your belief you are practicing pseudoscience or psychobabble: take your pick.

As a self-respecting and conscious human being I have no intention choosing something I am not doing. You go on

Atheism says nothing about who we are. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a supernatural deity. Ascribing beliefs about materialism or metaphysics to atheism shows you do not understand atheism.

Thanks for giving me another good reason not to waste my time on a know-nothing kind of philosophy about the do-nothing kind of god of useless, even dangerous religions. Then you say

As for my belief: consciousness is merely our brain processing external input.

Input? Such as? I hope it is useful and good stuff. Then you add

Neuroscience is making good progress on explaining this, but there is much left to research. Calling consciousness a soul or pneuma is a god-of-the-gaps argument.

I have no objection to you calling it “consciousness”, but I find “pneuma” or even “mind” shorter ways to write the concept. Have one more go

Yes, in my opinion, we are just meat. Sophisticated and intelligent meat, but still meat. Being an atheist makes it easier for me to accept this because I need no gods to explain the unknown, but atheism itself takes no position one way or the other.

So that’s where the arch-conservative, Archie Bunker (All In The Family) got the name “Meathead” for his liberal-thinking son-in-law.  LOL

[ Edited: 05 August 2012 10:02 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 05 August 2012 11:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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‘Spirituality’ in Dennett’s sense has nothing to do with ‘spirit’, ‘soul’, ‘psyche’ or ‘pneuma’.

It’s more about how to live as a conscious being. Don’t forget: Dennett explains consciousness, i.e. understands it from the processes running in our brains.

Your use of these words, and the word ‘god’, written at funny ways, does not clarify anything, but obfuscate.

I think Occam is right in his observation:

When one poses one’s own views and asks questions, but ignores questions in response to the initial posts, that’s more sermonising rather than honest discussing.

Your aim here is not to have an open rational discussion.

[ Edited: 06 August 2012 03:42 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 06 August 2012 04:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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RevLGKing - 05 August 2012 03:30 PM

...to what I now call the integrated-self (mind, spirit, soul) made up of body, mind and spirit (soma, psyche and pneuma).

RevLGKing - 05 August 2012 05:51 PM

... neither did I say, nor do I say: We have minds, or spirits, or bodies.

So which is it? In one post you say we are composed of “body, mind and spirit,” then you say you never said we have “minds, or spirits, or bodies.” You are contradicting yourself.

RevLGKing - 05 August 2012 09:56 PM

DarronS - 05 August 2012 06:06 PM says

Atheism says nothing about who we are. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a supernatural deity. Ascribing beliefs about materialism or metaphysics to atheism shows you do not understand atheism.

Thanks for giving me another good reason not to waste my time on a know-nothing kind of philosophy about the do-nothing kind of god of useless, even dangerous religions.

Are you incapable of thinking from another person’s point of view? Atheism is simply disbelief in gods. Secular Humanism is a philosophy. You should try to come across as less arrogant when you are showing such ignorance. Read GdB’s reply regarding Dennett’s quote. It is obvious you did not understand anything Dennett wrote or you would not have quoted him to support your position. GdB is right when he says you are not here for a rational discussion. You have squandered your life chasing a chimera. If you had learned some critical thinking skills in your youth you may have attained some wisdom along the way; instead you play semantics games and mistake them for sagacity.

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Posted: 06 August 2012 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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GdB - 05 August 2012 11:09 PM

‘Spirituality’ in Dennett’s sense has nothing to do with ‘spirit’, ‘soul’, ‘psyche’ or ‘pneuma’.

DEALING WITH ONE SIMPLE QUESTION,  I ask: If this is so, then why does Dennett use the word ‘spirituality’—devotion to spiritual instead of worldly things [the meaning of ‘spirituality’ as found in World Book D.—at all?
Dictionary.com:
spirituality
[spir-i-choo-al-i-tee]   Example Sentences
spir·it·u·al·i·ty
   [spir-i-choo-al-i-tee] Show IPA
noun, plural spir·it·u·al·i·ties.
1.
the quality or fact of being spiritual.
2.
incorporeal or immaterial nature.
3.
predominantly spiritual character as shown in thought, life, etc.; spiritual tendency or tone.
================================
AS OTHERS USE THE WORD:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality
http://www.smu.ca/institutes/csw/

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Posted: 06 August 2012 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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Quick Google search reveals: Dan Dennett on Spirituality.

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Posted: 06 August 2012 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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dougsmith - 06 August 2012 09:00 AM

Quick Google search reveals: Dan Dennett on Spirituality.

Great find, Doug.

I think that people make a mistake of thinking that spirituality in that sense has anything to do with either religious doctrines or with immateriality or the supernatural.

Could be my words…. Just one tiny amendment: it has nothing to do with any metaphysical doctrine.

Yes, Rev, I do not think you have even discovered what is spirituality about.

RevLGKing - 06 August 2012 08:50 AM

DEALING WITH ONE SIMPLE QUESTION,  I ask: If this is so, then why does Dennett use the word ‘spirituality’—devotion to spiritual instead of worldly things [the meaning of ‘spirituality’ as found in World Book D.—at all?

Because it is the best possible flag for the thing? Spirituality is not about what you think that exists and is real, like matter, souls, spirits etc. It is the way how you relate to what you think that exists and is real: a radical choice to try to understand more and more, and live as much as possible in accordance with your understanding, and stick just to a warm feeling ideology.

As two examples: to live with the truth that there is no God and no independent self. That you are just a function of a tiny portion of matter in a universe that does not care about your existence.

PS Did you read further in Wikipedia than the introducing paragraph?

Secular spirituality emphasizes humanistic ideas on qualities such as love, compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, responsibility, harmony, and a concern for others, aspects of life and human experience which go beyond a purely materialist view of the world, without necessarily accepting belief in a supernatural reality or divine being.

And:

“Spirituality exists wherever we struggle with the issues of how our lives fit into the greater scheme of things. This is true when our questions never give way to specific answers or give rise to specific practices such as prayer or meditation. We encounter spiritual issues every time we wonder where the universe comes from, why we are here, or what happens when we die. We also become spiritual when we become moved by values such as beauty, love, or creativity that seem to reveal a meaning or power beyond our visible world. An idea or practice is “spiritual” when it reveals our personal desire to establish a felt-relationship with the deepest meanings or powers governing life.”

[ Edited: 06 August 2012 09:36 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 06 August 2012 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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I asked about Dennett’s use of the word, ‘spirituality’, which I found interesting and helpful—and sounds like the “pantheism” of Spinoza, who influenced Einstein’s non-theistic concept of ‘god’. IMO, both were panentheists [as in Wikipedia].

GdB - 06 August 2012 09:32 AM

...
Because it is the best possible flag for the thing?

If you are asking me—Are you?—I have no idea what you are asking; or why you are asking it.
===================
Are the following doctrines, mentioned by you, evidence-based ones? And are they, generally speaking, accepted by Dennett? All atheists?

Spirituality is not about what you think that exists and is real, like matter, souls, spirits etc. ...

It is the way how you relate to what you think that exists and is real: a radical choice to try to understand more and more, and live as much as possible in accordance with your understanding, and stick just to a warm feeling ideology.

As two examples: to live with the truth that there is no God and no independent self. That you are just a function of a tiny portion of matter in a universe that does not care about your existence.

[ Edited: 06 August 2012 01:18 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 06 August 2012 10:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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RevLGKing - 06 August 2012 01:11 PM

I asked about Dennett’s use of the word, ‘spirituality’, which I found interesting and helpful—and sounds like the “pantheism” of Spinoza, who influenced Einstein’s non-theistic concept of ‘god’. IMO, both were panentheists [as in Wikipedia].

Panentheists? No way. Where did you find that? Surely not here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein.

RevLGKing - 06 August 2012 01:11 PM
GdB - 06 August 2012 09:32 AM

...
Because it is the best possible flag for the thing?

If you are asking me—Are you?—I have no idea what you are asking; or why you are asking it.

I am suggesting why people use the term ‘spirituality’ when they do not believe in any god, spirit or soul. Mystics in all religions wanted to experience the unification with the ground of existence. For Christians this is God, for Hindus maybe Brahman, for physicalists it could be the universe. Why not? Most people still feel and live as dualists, i.e. experience themselves separated from others and from their environment. Why would a physicalist not strive for overcoming this experience because it is not in accord with which he knows is the truth: that we are not separated, but a function of the universe, that so to speak the universe makes us? (And will kill us too eventually…)

RevLGKing - 06 August 2012 01:11 PM

Are the following doctrines, mentioned by you, evidence-based ones?

That question is a category mistake.

RevLGKing - 06 August 2012 01:11 PM

And are they, generally speaking, accepted by Dennett?

What I wrote in my previous posting, my guess is ‘yes’. What I wrote in this posting, maybe not. But I don’t know what he would say after finishing a bottle of Chambertin?

RevLGKing - 06 August 2012 01:11 PM

All atheists?

No, of course not. Atheists have only one thing in common: that they do not believe in any god.

PS See here for another thread on spirituality. And use the search function of the fora. And in this thread you will already find Dennett’s description of spirituality.

[ Edited: 06 August 2012 11:07 PM by GdB ]
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Posted: 07 August 2012 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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GdB - 06 August 2012 10:54 PM
RevLGKing - 06 August 2012 01:11 PM

I asked about Dennett’s use of the word, ‘spirituality’, which I found interesting and helpful—and it sounds like the “pantheism” of Spinoza, who influenced Einstein’s non-theistic concept of ‘god’. IMO, both were panentheists [as in Wikipedia].

Panentheists ? No way. Where did you find that? Surely not here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein.==
If I understand what Einstein wrote about the theistic hypotheses, I find myself in complete concurrence with him, including what he said about atheism:

Agnosticism and atheism
Einstein rejected the label atheist, which he associated with certainty regarding God’s nonexistence. Einstein stated:

“I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”[1] According to Prince Hubertus, Einstein said, “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”[13]
Einstein had previously explored the belief that man could not understand the nature of God….

=================
ABOUT PANENTHEISM. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panentheism
To avoid confusion with pantheism, I prefer using the word, unitheism—see Wikipedia and my page on Facebook.
The American Episcopal minister, the Rev. Charles Hartshorne (1897 – 2000)  was the great interpreter of the ideas of the process philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947).

DEVELOPMENT OF THE FORMAL PHILOSOPHY—By Karl Christian Friedrich Krause

The German philosopher Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781–1832), seeking to reconcile monotheism and pantheism, coined the term panentheism (“all in God”) in 1828. This conception of God influenced New England transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. The term was popularized by Charles Hartshorne in his development of process theology and has also been adopted by proponents of various New Thought beliefs. The formalization of this term in the West in the 18th century was of course not new; philosophical treatises had been written on it in the context of Hinduism for millennia.
=================
of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Hartshorne
=================

RevLGKing - 06 August 2012 01:11 PM
GdB - 06 August 2012 09:32 AM

...
Because it is the best possible flag for the thing?

If you are asking me—Are you?—I have no idea what you are asking; or why you are asking it.

I am suggesting why people use the term ‘spirituality’ when they do not believe in any god, spirit or soul. Mystics in all religions wanted to experience the unification with the ground of existence. For Christians this is God, for Hindus maybe Brahman, for physicalists it could be the universe. Why not? Most people still feel and live as dualists, i.e. experience themselves separated from others and from their environment. Why would a physicalist not strive for overcoming this experience because it is not in accord with which he knows is the truth: that we are not separated, but a function of the universe, that so to speak the universe makes us? (And will kill us too eventually…)
===================================
“And will kill us too eventually…”?
Are you sure? And where do I look to find the science-based evidence for this hellish doctrine and BAD news?

I almost forgot:  “Atheists” you say, “have only one thing in common: that they do not believe in any god”.

What a coincidence! The good news is: Neither do us unitheists and our fellow panentheists “believe in any god”—a supernatural being separate from us and the cosmos.” Atheists and progressive religionists…all are invited to explore, with us, a 21st Century approach to philosophy and spirituality!

[ Edited: 07 August 2012 05:31 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 07 August 2012 11:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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RevLGKing - 07 August 2012 03:41 PM

If I understand what Einstein wrote about the theistic hypotheses, I find myself in complete concurrence with him, including what he said about atheism.

Well, that’s fine for you. But two things: in the first place have a good look at what kind of atheism Einstein meant (from your citation):

I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth.

Secondly Einstein explicitly calls his god the god of Spinoza: i.e. it is a pantheistic view of the world. In my opinion the danger of the word ‘God’ is that it triggers associations with it that just do not belong to the pantheistic view. My description would rather be: a monist view of the universe, that inspires to awe and wonder. Get rid of the word ‘God’ because it suggests it has attributes that traditionally are linked to God, like ‘creator of the universe’, base of morality, and wide spread fairy tails, bundled together in a book called ‘Bible’.

Better take Dawkins’ stance: pantheism is “sexed-up atheism.”

RevLGKing - 07 August 2012 03:41 PM

“And will kill us too eventually…”?
Are you sure? And where do I look to find the science-based evidence for this hellish doctrine and BAD news?

Of course I am sure. I will die, you will, we all will. What is the bad news about having got a movies ticket? That the movie will end?

PS I would be glad if you get rid of your, in my opinion, ridiculous signature. It is Garbage Or Delusional.

[ Edited: 07 August 2012 11:21 PM by GdB ]
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Posted: 07 August 2012 11:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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GdB - 07 August 2012 11:16 PM
RevLGKing - 07 August 2012 03:41 PM

If I understand what Einstein wrote about the theistic hypotheses, I find myself in complete concurrence with him, including what he said about atheism.

Well, that’s fine for you. But two things: in the first place have a good look at what kind of atheism Einstein meant (from your citation):

I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth.

Secondly Einstein explicitly calls his god the god of Spinoza: i.e. it is a pantheistic view of the world. In my opinion the danger of the word ‘God’ is that it triggers associations with it that just do not belong to the pantheistic view. My description would rather be: a monist view of the universe, that inspires to awe and wonder. Get rid of the word ‘God’ because it suggests it has attributes that traditionally are linked to God, like ‘creator of the universe’, base of morality, and wide spread fairy tails, bundled together in a book called ‘Bible’.

Better take Dawkins’ stance: pantheism is “sexed-up atheism.”

RevLGKing - 07 August 2012 03:41 PM

“And will kill us too eventually…”?
Are you sure? And where do I look to find the science-based evidence for this hellish doctrine and BAD news?

Of course I am sure. I will die, you will, we all will. What is the bad news about having got a movies ticket? That the movie will end?

PS I would be glad if you get rid of your, in my opinion, ridiculous signature. It is Garbage Or Delusional.

I am lost in semantics here.

To be spiritual is to believe in a common spirit.
It is not necessary to be theist or atheist to accept a condition of common spirit.

The red highlight above shows Einstein’s use of the term ‘spirit”. We all know what he meant, but what did he say?
What spirit was Einstein talking about? How and what did he visualize the properties of a commonly shared condition named “spirit” to be?

IMO, the word has so many valid definitions, that it is difficult to argue any single aspect or interpretation, other than in terms of mirror neurons in our own brains.

I am saying this in the spirit of “goodwill to all….... smile

edited for correct spelling.

[ Edited: 08 August 2012 03:52 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 08 August 2012 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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Write4U - 07 August 2012 11:59 PM
GdB - 07 August 2012 11:16 PM
RevLGKing - 07 August 2012 03:41 PM

If I understand what Einstein wrote about the theistic hypotheses, I find myself in complete concurrence with him, including what he said about atheism.

W4U, you say:

I am lost in symantics here. To be spiritual is to believe in a common spirit.
It is not necessary to be theist or atheist to accept a condition of common spirit.

The red highlight above shows Einstein’s use of the term ‘spirit”. We all know what he meant, but what did he say?
What spirit was Einstein talking about? How and what did he visualize the properties of a commonly shared condition named “spirit” to be?

IMO, the word has so many valid definitions, that it is difficult to argue any single aspect or interpretation, other than in terms of mirror neurons in our own brains.

I am saying this in the spirit of “goodwill to all….... smile

Symantics? I assume you mean ‘semantics’? as defined at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantics  ...

Semantics (from Greek: sēmantiká, neuter plural of sēmantikós)[1][2] is the study of meaning. It focuses on the relation between signifiers, such as words, phrases, signs, and symbols, and what they stand for, their denotata.
Linguistic semantics is the study of meaning that is used to understand human expression through language. Other forms of semantics include the semantics of programming languages, formal logics, and semiotics.

Sending agape always—good WILLpower—to all   grin

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